Streaming Rises 30% Due to Coronavirus, Reports SeaChange

(Image credit: SeaChange)

WALTHAM, Mass.—As people are stuck inside because of the coronavirus (COVID-19), SeaChange International is reporting that streaming activity—linear, video-on-demand and OTT—has gone up by 30% across the globe in March as people stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Greater increases in those numbers may be on the way.

In addition to simply the overall increase in streaming numbers during this time, the change in what SeaChange says were “relatively predictable viewing habits” is putting a higher demand on network infrastructure. “The rate at which these systems need to scale in order to meet the growing demand could not have been anticipated by operators,” Walid Hamri, chief product officer at SeaChange, wrote.

Even as streaming numbers go up, advertising revenue for these services is taking a hit. Travel and retail are scaling down advertising efforts because people are staying at home. In Europe, Facebook found that even while time spent on the app was up, ad business has weakened in countries that are taking active measures against COVID-19.

Both traditional and OTT service providers are likely to optimize their operating expenses because of lower video average revenue per user and less overall advertising revenue, SeaChange reports.

SeaChange cites a Nielsen report that predicts a 60% increase in the amount of media watched moving forward as an indication the situation will not be immediately remedied.

“During these trying times and to prepare for future uncertainty, TV operators and direct-to-consumer service providers require a complete system that offers flexibility, scalability and budget control,” wrote Hamri. In the report, Hamri describes the benefits of SeaChange’s own Framework system in these regards.

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